Android 11 Beta 2 on the Pixel 4Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

What you need to know

  • The first stable Android 11 build is now rolling out to users with Pixel phones.
  • The latest version of Android brings a ton of new features, including conversation bubbles, built-in screen recording, one-time permissions, improved 5G support, call screening support, and more.
  • Android OEMs are expected to upgrade their devices to Android 11 over the coming months.

After four developer previews and three public betas, Google is finally releasing the first stable Android 11 build to Pixel phones today.

Google says Android 11 reimagines the way users have conversations on their devices. You will find all your conversations across various messaging apps in a dedicated space in the notifications section, making it easier than ever to manage them. You can even prioritize conversations from the people that are most important to you. Responding to those important conversations is now easier too, thanks to chat bubbles.

Android 11 Chat BubblesSource: Google

In addition to making it easier for you to manage your conversations, Android 11 also introduces new ways to control connected devices and media. You can now access all your smart home devices such as thermostats and smart locks by long-pressing the power button on your phone. On compatible vehicles, Android Auto will now work wirelessly for all phones. This means you can play your favorite songs and get directions to a location without a cable. Media controls have been redesigned as well and now allow you to quickly switch the device your media is playing on.

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Android 11 Device Media ControlsSource: Google

Google has also focused extensively on user privacy with Android 11. Thanks to one-time permissions, it is now possible to grant single-use access to sensitive permissions such as your location, camera, and microphone. Android will also automatically reset permissions for apps that you haven't used in a while. Additionally, Android 11 brings Google Play system update modules and a built-in screen recorder.

Android 11 One Time PermissionsSource: Google

On a Pixel 2 or above, you can access additional tools to better manage your phone, including app suggestions based on your daily routines and new actions that let you select text and images or take screenshots of an app.

Aside from Google Pixel phones, Android 11 will begin rolling out today to select OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Realme phones as well.

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